Jack Pattenden lived at Knole from the age of 2, the third generation in his family to live there. He has vivid memories of his father’s work as ‘Wicket Keeper’ – Front Hall Porter in the Outer Wicket – for the Sackville family right up to the start of WWI. The Pattenden family continued in service during the war, with Jack’s mother donning her husband’s livery and carrying on his work.
Memories of parents - liveried Wicket Keepers [Front Hall Porters] at Knole
Interviewed by Wendy Ferguson in 1988
Thomas and Florence, liveried staff in the Outer Wicket
“Red waistcoat, tailcoat, and had to open the door for all the visitors in the coaches or cars as it were, according to the period, letting them in the front door, wicket door, each time they come to visit the local residents, Lord and Lady Sackville.”
Interviewer: I should think he looked very splendid, didn’t he?
“Well he did really.”
Interviewer: You said he had a hat with a cockade I believe, as well?”
“Yes, a top hat with a cockade.
Of course when the war broke out that was stopped, but they agreed to allow my mother to carry on.
So we stayed. We moved from the Laundry round to the Front Wicket and we took our apartments in what was then, or originally, the old Guard House, the Guard Room. Our front, our sort of actual sitting room was surrounded by flintlocks, swords and halberds.
There was two rooms upstairs, the bedrooms, and we lived there all through the First World War.”
If you’d like to listen to Jack’s entire interview, you’re invited to search the British Library’s online catalogue, using ‘Knole’ as one of your search keywords. You can then read each interview’s timed content summary and reserve the recording for playback at the British Library in London.